Meeting the sleep needs of our children is so challenging these days.
What I can tell you is the same thing I tell the families I work with is: we can only do our best.
The most accurate way to know if a child’s bedtime works for them is the ease to which they go to sleep, stay asleep and wake happy each day.
Another indicator is if you child(ren) is able to get through the day with full learning ability, have appropriate physical energy level and also have an alert but calm demeanor up until the end of the day.
This isn’t always easy. Most families struggle to quickly get through a night after a long day of work, school or daycare. This is just the reality of our generation. After a long day of working, most of us want to be with our kids and learn about their day without feeling rushed. I know I do! But there are some small tips to try to keep in mind so things don’t go sideways night after night.
- Try to be mindful as you are extending the night out. If an activity (like watching a favorite show together, or starting a new craft) can wait until the weekend.
- Day care is a wonderful tool for learning and development, but learning is mentally exhaustive for children. If your tot has passed their wake threshold, keeping them up won’t measure out as quality time. Some children act out and can’t control their behavior, some get cranky and irritable, while others can cope a little better, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t becoming over tired.
- Save the fun activities for the “down” days in your home.
- Try spending some time together in the morning, rather than late in the evening. First thing in the morning, everyone is well rested, and it’s a nice way to start the day for the whole family.
- My advice during work/school days is to get the right amount of sleep, feel your best and then each moment is ultimately more meaningful and memorable.
I know this isn’t always easy. As a working mom, I often struggle the same things. Sometimes it’s possible, sometimes it’s not possible; all you can do is try your best! We’re all in this together!